Meisha Ross Porter is making history as New York City’s first-ever Black schools chancellor — but her selection comes despite a track record that includes self-congratulatory celebrations and charges of favoritism.
Before she was named as new schools czar on Friday following Richard Carranza’s sudden resignation, Porter made headlines for throwing herself a lavish $45,000 birthday blowout in 2019 that also celebrated her promotion to Bronx executive superintendent.
The $111-per-person, 400-guest affair featured buffet, DJ and open bar at the Villa Barone Manor in the Bronx. Porter showed up to the bash in a glittery white frock and tiara and made a grand entrance into the ballroom in a glass elevator — a special touch that cost $500 extra.
Porter’s self-love was also on full display Friday as she was officially tapped as Carranza’s replacement at a press conference.
“So, I’m going to take my chancellor’s advice and I’m going to do me, like he said,” she said in response to a question about bringing mental health treatment to schools.
The newly minted chancellor was the focus of a lawsuit last week filed by Bronx educator Rafaela Espinal, who claims she was fired in part for repeatedly refusing to mimic the “Wakanda Forever” salute seen in movie “Black Panther.”
Porter often asked her educators to do the hands-across-the-chest gesture — a symbol of Black solidarity — and documented the post on her Twitter.
The Post also reported that in 2017, Ross pulled strings to get a pal’s kid she was caring for into a whiter, less diverse school.
At the time, the then-Bronx executive superintendent was living in District 8 and zoned for the 90-percent Hispanic Mott Hall Community School.
The child in question instead earned a seat at MS X101 — which offers advanced classes for gifted kids and had a makeup of 67 percent Hispanic and Black and 15 percent white students.
“She was ushered in by higher-ups. They knew who she was,” a DOE insider said at the time about the student who received the special treatment.
Born in South Jamaica, Queens, Ross has dedicated her life to education, most recently serving as the Bronx executive superintendent, one of nine positions created by Carranza, and overseeing community school districts 7-12 comprised of 361 schools and 235,448 students, city officials said.
She also worked as a principal of Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, which she helped to build, and spent three years as the Superintendent of District 11, spanning the Pelham Parkway, Eastchester and Woodhaven sections of the Bronx.
In 2007, Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice, a middle school, got an F in the Department of Education’s systemwide ratings during Porter’s fourth year at the helm.
At the press conference Friday, Ross, who officials said raked in $209,406 last year, said reopening the city’s high schools and formulating a plan to get students back in the classrooms come September are paramount to her tenure.
“The Bronx, well you know me,” she said. “I’ve dedicated my life to servicing the Bronx. I’ve dedicated my life to educating in the Bronx.”
She added, “It’s my duty and responsibility that I’ve carried with me my whole life to lean forward and lean in and see every student and create opportunities for them.”
Porter also vowed to pursue initiatives to make Big Apple’s schools more diverse.
“The reality is segregation exists and I’m not going to shy away from the importance of really looking at inequities around admissions processes and really pushing forward for ways we can create opportunities and access for all students across New York City,” she said.